I am a huge can of curries. The depth of flavor and styles are truly limitless in this world. This is one of my favorite coconut curry soups in a thai style.

Soup Base

2 cups of vegetable stock
1 pack of extra firm tofu cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 small white onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon soy
1/4 cup torn cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • in a small sauce pot on medium heat add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add all your vegetable into the pan and saute until the onions begin to caramelize.
  • deglaze pan with soy, vegetable stock and coconut milk and simmer for 5 mins
  • add all your spices and continue to simmer on low heat for 15 mins.
  • while the soup simmers mix 2 tablespoons of water with the corn starch to make a slurry
  • add slurry into soup mix and stir until soup thickens.
  • turn off heat, add tofu and cilantro leaves and season with salt to taste
  • serve hot over steamed rice or on its own.

This recipe is super simple and taste even better the next day.

I have seen many recipes floating around about butter beer in regards to the Harry Potter franchise, these are wrong.  Most of these recipes call for butter scotch or cream soda both of which were not created until the late 1800’s.

Butter beer is a classic “cocktail” that dates back as far as 1584 and became very popular in the late 1700’s with Queen Victoria who was known to drink 2 pints upon rising in the morning, my kind of leader.

So here it is folks, here is my rendition of the classic.  its perfect for the holidays.  It has an eggy sweet and bitter custard quality to it.  Its very heavy and can be served as a dessert

Please enjoy and tell me your experience.

Butter Beer

  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 1/2 piece of whole cinnamon(i prefer Mexican cinnamon sticks)
  • 1/2 t whole clove
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 bottles of Old Speckled Hen ale (1 quart)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 120 grams of sugar
  • 30 grams of butter(I prefer salted) softened to room temp
  1. Start with a nice heavy bottom sauce pot 2 qt or larger.  Add Ale and all the spices, on medium low heat simmer, DO NOT BOIL! boiling will release all the impurities you don’t want and give the beer and bitter flavor.
  2. in a stand mixer, hand mixer or by hand whip eggs, sugar and butter until light and airy.  Do not stop until it is doubled in size.
  3. pour the warm beer though a fine mess strainer or coffee filter. the return to pot to keep warm
  4. While mixing your egg mixture pour a small amount of warm beer, about 2-3 oz.  This will begin the tempering process so you do not end up with scrambled eggs.
  5. keep adding the hot beer slowly as you mix on medium speed.  once all the beer is added return liquid to your pot.
  6. O the lowest heat possible whisk the mixture until it begins to thicken, something like a gravy thickness.
  7. Removed from heat and serve immediately

This cake came about because a close friend said “I love Nutella”  and she was very serious about it.  I too love Nutella but then again who doesn’t.  This cake is based around a flourless chocolate cake.  Please enjoy and don’t forget to drink a white russian with it

for the cake

6 large eggs (separated)
1 pinch of salt
125 grams soft unsalted butter
400 grams Nutella
1 tablespoon Frangelico
125 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams 60% cacao chocolate (melted)

for the icing

100 grams roasted rough chopped hazelnuts
125 ml heavy cream
60 ml Frangelico
1 tablespoon  Dark rum
125 grams 60% cacao chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks begin to form, you don’t want to over beat your eggs because they will loose structure during the baking process and your cake will fall. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the Frangelico , egg yolks and ground hazelnuts.  Continue to beat egg yolk mixture until it becomes airy, about 3 min.         -note- if you are using a kitchen aide, beat your egg whites first then transfer them out and beat the rest of the ingredients.  The reason behind this is egg whites will not develop a proper stiffness if fat is in the bowl.  So make sure all your bowls are thoroughly cleaned.Over a double boiler melt your chocolate and allow it to cool a bit.
  2. Fold cooled, melted chocolate into your egg yolk mixture a paddle attachment works best, then add 1/3 of your egg whites, mix gently and thoroughly so you don’t get pockets of egg whites, then gently fold in the rest of them 1/3 at a time.
  3. Pour into a 9 inch round greased and lined spring form cake pan and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake’s beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on a rack.  While the cake is still warm poke a few holes in the cake with a fork, and pour Frangelico over it to soak in.
  4. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan just until the aroma of hazelnuts fills the air.  keep shaking the pan so that they don’t burn.. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cream, 1 tablespoon dark rum chopped chocolate, and heat gently whisking the entire time. Once the chocolate’s melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until for 1 min to cool the ganache.   Unmould the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base.
  6. Ice the top with the chocolate icing, and sprinkle chopped toasted hazelnuts.

Come Join me at Naked Kitchen in the mission Friday the 13th

Food inspired by my family.

Francine’s

para minha mãe

 Vino verde cured snapper

radish, shallot, sorrel, chile oil

fried egg

rice chip, black truffle, lemon zest, olive oil,

salt cod casserole

caramelized onion, garlic, potatoes, arugula, black olives

foie terrine

 pickled rhubarb, bitter greens

heirloom tomato salad

 almonds, sherry, corn bread croutons, micro lemon basil, olive oil

braised pork

 white corn grits, roasted red cabbage, red wine

hazelnut chocolate bar

 frangelico, vanilla, espresso

A non food rant

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

Forgive me, for this has nothing to do with food….. well atleast on the service it doesn’t, but if you dig deep enough it will.

This all pertains to the most recent Bart strike.  I will not bore you with the details of what either side were asking. I will only tell the truth from a working class, blue collar point of view.

Friday October 18th Bart workers stepped out and went on strike for the second time this year.  They have their reasons, some reasonable and some not.  Management and Employees would not budge on certain issues namely more money/benefits.

Now I understand that everyone wants to make more money, I am one of them. To quote a movie “they say money can’t buy happiness? Look at this smile, ear to fucking ear baby”.     But in this case it wasn’t so much about how much money the employees were taking home as it was how much management was.  Why can’t people sit and think how lucky they are to have benefits and a great wage for minimal work. Not to put down Bart employees, but the average worker I have come across do not know the schedules of trains, busses, stops, eta of trains or any valuable information for that matter.  They want more money and they can’t even get the trains to run on time.

Now this is where we get to the food, Friday night at the restaurant we had a delivery of a whole pig for a charity event.  Our delivery was supposed to be early in the day, but due to traffic as a result of the strike it did not arrive until almost 7pm.  Another restaurant was unable to open for breakfast and lunch because the bread delivery was stuck on the bridge.

This strike hit more then just the daily commuters, it hit small businesses across the bay and both parties are blind to it.

The Passion

Posted: September 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Look I am an idiot, I long and search for something that seems out of reach…. but that seems like the definition of love. Insane, crazy, stupid, doing anything in your power to make it happen. If you understand any of that you are one step closer to understanding a chef and the way we think.
Always in search of perfection, that perfect moment, the perfect bite, the perfect meal. Always searching….

Photos of Food, food magazine, Instagram, Food Porn…. it all a part of our virtual landscape now.  You cant log into anything these days with seeing images of food both high end and low end.  The News covers it, shows and movies are based around it, every aspect of a cooks life is now under the multimedia microscope.

We are reaching a point of awareness in the country when it comes to food, through instagram, Facebook, twitter, forkly and many others like them. These sites and apps are allowing all of us to share our home cooked meals, an amazing dessert by your favorite pastry chef, and a smile brought to someone’s face because they love the way you cook for them.

Many chefs have issues with pictures being taken in the dining rooms and I understand the reasoning behind it.   Here are a few of the reason and they are all very legitimate.

It’s distracting you, I disagree as I do take pictures of my meals sometimes as do many chefs. I believe this brings us closer to the food

It’s distracting who you’re with,  I agree to disagree with this one a 3 second picture hardly distracts you from your company

It’s distracting the other diners,  easy fix, don’t use flash

It’s distracting the chef,  this only applies for open kitchens, and why is the chef paying any attention to the floor and not the tickets hanging in the window

It chills the food chef spent time and energy on that dish and now its temperature is dropping,

It ruins the mystique. Some think this ruins the end of the book for some people.  i disagree, I believe it give it even more intrigue, because now I can see the food taken by a diner instead of prop that was taken by a professional photographer.

 

Some chefs don’t want pictures taken because they are simply bad pictures and they don’t want the food to look like that, they feel it can give a bad impression of the food and that it will turn guests away.  I am not one of these chefs, I believe you should take pictures of your experiences.  Chefs should be honored that people enjoyed it so much that they wanted to take a picture and share it with other.  In a study they found that people take pictures of the things we love.   Take a min and go through your pictures and see what you take the more images of, your kids, spouse, pets, food.  I do agree that it has become somewhat of a fad and people need to have some respect for other diners and learn how to take a picture properly in a not so well lit dining room.

the importance of food photography in our virtual landscape these days I believe is very important.  It allows a wide range of people to experience something they might not have tried yet, or shows off a dish or ingredient they have never had before and for me and many young chefs it gives inspiration.  Seeing others work possibly using it as a way to make your own work even better, I see nothing wrong with this and I encourage and fully support it.

Here is a very helpful set of tips to guide you on your foodstagram  http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-pro-guide-to-taking-better-instagram-food-photos/